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How Healthy Eating and Exercise Can Help You Drop Extra Pounds

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Eating lots of fruit is healthy and can help you lose weight.

Eating lots of fruit is healthy and can help you lose weight.

Weight Loss Planning

Sometimes things happen in life that can make us decide that it is time to start eating healthier, get more exercise and lose weight. It might be the birth of a child, health problems, some special event, or maybe just a desire to be healthier and feel better. Whatever the reason, it could be a good idea to start with some planning. Planning healthy meals and setting aside exercise time may help keep you working towards healthy goals.

A good place to start is setting reasonable goals to accomplish. You should be prepared to make a commitment and you must find the motivation if you want to succeed with your weight loss goals. Be prepared to accept that you will have to make changes in your lifestyle and your eating habits for the rest of your life.

Goals to Strive For

It is a good idea to have some goals in mind that you are going to strive toward. As you reach each goal, no matter how small, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride that will help to keep you motivated.

For myself, I find that setting a goal of losing 5 pounds is much easier to reach than if I try for 20 pounds. After losing that 5 pounds then I can set a new goal of losing another 5 pounds.

  1. Choose a reasonable weight loss goal of the amount you need to lose.
  2. Also set some smaller goals such as five pounds. These are easier to reach and they may help keep you motivated toward reaching your ultimate goal.
  3. Make a decision that you also want to firm up and tone your body with a good exercise program.
  4. Make feeling good, healthy and having more energy another one of those goals.

Check With Your Doctor Before Starting a Weight-Loss Program

It is a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. If you have any physical problems, those issues may need to be taken care of first.

For example, I started doing simple yoga exercises, but then I started having pain in my hips which caused me to stop exercising for a while. A trip to the doctor found that I had bursitis in both hips, but with the aid of steroid injections and a healthier diet, I am now able to get back to the yoga exercises.

Weight Loss Helpers

There are many things that can help you to achieve your weight loss goals. Here is a short list of some of them.

  • Drink lots of water and avoid sugary drinks.
  • Use a small notebook to keep track of what you are eating every day.
  • Use a calorie counter to help you keep track of just how many calories you are consuming.
  • Invest in a good set of scales for checking your weight loss weekly.
  • Invest in a treadmill or other exercise equipment or a gym membership (walking, of course, is free).
  • Find a few good friends who also want to get healthier and can help keep you going in the right direction.
  • Consider forming an exercise class with those friends (this is a great bonding activity).

Weight Loss Requires Effort and Time

Losing weight and getting healthier will require both effort and time, but the end results will be well worth it. You will not only weigh less but you will feel much better physically and mentally.

Here are some hints to make losing weight easier:

  • Drink lots of water as I already mentioned. I find that drinking a lot of water has many good health benefits. It makes me less hungry and helps the digestive system work better.
  • Include as many vegetables in your diet as possible. This is hard for me because I am not really a vegetable lover, but vegetables are necessary for a balanced diet so I made myself commit to eating a lot more of them.
  • Snack on vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and celery before meals and between meals. I love to snack, so this is something else I have learned. I now try to munch on veggies instead of chips and sugary snacks.
  • Replace desserts, chips, cookies and other sugary items with fresh fruits. Eating more fruits has been easier than eating vegetables for me because I do like most fruits.
  • Soups and salads before meals will help you to eat less. Make your own homemade soups or check labels for calorie counts. Good warm nutritious soups can be filling and healthy.
  • Resolve to stay away from fast-food restaurants.
  • Avoid sugar, white flour and white rice. Substitute whole grains products for these.
  • When eating out, order low-calorie foods. Some restaurants serve larger portions than you should eat, so invite a friend along to share.
  • Think positive thoughts: "I can lose this weight. I can lose this weight."
  • Experiment with different flavorings while cutting out the fats.
  • Buy some good low-calorie cookbooks and exchange weight-loss recipes with friends.
  • Cut back on the salt as much as possible. Instead, experiment with different spices and herbs.
A hamburger patty with no roll and a salad with dressing on the side can be a low-calorie lunch.

A hamburger patty with no roll and a salad with dressing on the side can be a low-calorie lunch.

Healthy Substitutes Will Help You Reach Your Goals

I found that making some small changes in my lifestyle and eating habits did have a big impact on my success with losing weight. Here are some suggestions for making some of those small changes. These have worked for me.

  • Instead of that can or bottle of soda enjoy a cold glass of water.
  • Skip the butter, and use olive oil instead.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables and nuts in place of candy and sweets.
  • Eat a light lunch of salads, yogurt, soup and fruits.
  • Use salad dressing on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing then into your salad. You will have just enough to taste the dressing without so many calories.
  • Eat more chicken and fish and less red meat.
  • I found that I could substitute chocolate soy milk for regular chocolate milk. Soy milk has a lot fewer calories and I like it.

Exercise Will Help You Lose Weight

For even better weight loss results, combine your new healthy eating lifestyle with a good exercise program. In order to lose weight, I think you must do both. Follow a healthy eating plan and follow a daily exercise plan.

Exercise is a matter of personal choice. Walking, especially with a friend, is a great way to get the weight off faster. This is a great choice also if you are unable to afford a gym membership. If you can afford a gym membership, you should see good results using weight-strengthening exercises.

Dance classes or yoga classes offer social contact as well as getting in shape. Biking, swimming and jogging are other excellent forms of exercise. Summer gardening and mowing the lawn offer good types of exercise, as well.

It is not so important what type of exercise you choose to engage in—what is important is that you get up, get moving and stay active.

Losing Weight and Getting Fit With Yoga

Yoga Is Great for Fitness and Weight Loss

Love Yourself

Good luck with your weight loss program. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Try to stay positive and know that you are a special person who deserves to be healthy and happy.

You will always be a success if you remember that no matter what your weight is, you love yourself.

Make a Pledge to Be Healthier

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 L.M. Hosler


L.M. Hosler (author) on December 30, 2013:

Billybuc Thanks for commenting. I wrote this as a reminder to myself as well for the new year. I think it will be in our best interest to try to stay as healthy as possible.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 30, 2013:

I don't make resolutions but I do review my year at year's end, and one thing I know I have to do is be more consistent about my eating and exercise habits. I am a pretty health guy and it great shape for my age, but I can't rely on it staying that way unless I put in the time and effort. Great reminder and I thank you.

L.M. Hosler (author) on December 27, 2013:

Thanks for the comments. I always value your opinion.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 27, 2013:

Very practical counsel. I appreciate the section on healthy substitutes. Thank you.